November 4, 2013

Worse than Halloween: A Biblical reason to Hate Mondays

by Clint Archer

ET and the MoonI always thought Halloween was delightful and charming. I guess I always knew deep down that it had scary roots—either something to do with ghouls and witches, or Catholic holidays. But the freckled, buck-teeth kids interrupting my important sitcom watching hardly seemed sinister. I confess that, I actually found it quite charming to be greeted by the Smurfs, glow-worms, princesses, Darth Vaders,  and other beguiling alter-egos salivating on my welcome mat.

Little did I know how dastardly this holiday was. Like a razor blade in a Snickers bar, Satan had impregnated my spiritual life with his malicious influence.  How naïve I was to think I could glorify God and enjoy a cultural holiday at the same time. But I’ve been enlightened.

I’m grateful for the plethora of e-mails and blogs I encountered last week that warned me of the noxious effects of  Halloween. Who knew that what erstwhile druids touted as flagrant demonic wickedness would one day evolve into something so deceptively cute and harmless.

It piqued my curiosity that perhaps there were other apparently harmless days that were laced with esoteric dangers. Since most of the helpful anti-Halloween rhetoric emphasized the poisonous roots from which the holiday sprang, I began my detective work in the same place—the origins of benign days.  To my horror I discovered a day more insidious than Halloween: Mondays!

It turns out that the roots of Monday are as pagan as you can imagine!

The etymology of the name is, as always, revealing. Before 1200AD the day was called mondæi meaning the day of the Moon to designate the weekly Moon-worship of lunatics. This discovery was very disconcerting for me, because I have been using the name Monday since early childhood, unaware of its pagan beginnings. Only Quakers (a group known for their balanced spiritual applications) recognize this blaspheme, and they refer to the day as Second Day.Monday Execution

The more I delved into the significance of Monday, the more gobsmacked I became. God made Sunday the first day of the week (Gen 1), and Christians all treat it that way, but Satan’s handiwork has begun to undo God’s design. Monday is supplanting Sunday as the first day. And Christians are being duped into participating in that coup. Here is a quote from Wikipedia (which is where I got all this reliable knowledge)…

The international ISO 8601 standard places Monday as the first day of the week, and this is widely used on calendars in Europe and in international business. Monday is xīngqīyī (星期一) in Chinese, meaning “day one of the week”. Its name in Georgian and Syriac means “first day”.

Etymology alone should prove my case. But there’s more.

After the school shooting of January 29, 1979,  when a remorseless Brenda Ann Spencer was asked why she opened fire on teachers and children, her senseless reply was, “I don’t like Mondays; this livens up the day.” Need I say more? Mondays have not only incited violence, but have begotten secular music too. That incident inspired the song “I don’t like Mondays” (Boomtown Rats 1979, covered by Tori Amos 2001) and of course there is the notorious 80’s anthem of the worldly decade “Just another manic Monday” by the Bangles.

GarfieldMonday also undeniably stirs up negativity in the workplace. Ever hear people say, “Thank God it’s Monday”? Nope. And through Satanic commercialization, everything from mugs to mouse-pads use Monday as a reason to complain about God-given work. Doesn’t the Bible say “Do all things (including Monday) without grumbling and complaining”? Exactly.

Now that your conscience has been informed you have a choice to make: either you can go along with Monday like everyone else, or you can forward this e-mail Tweet this post as a sign of the stand you are taking against harmless days with pagan roots.

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord, not the Moon. What does it look like to opt out of the Monday madness? I’m not sure, but I want to make sure I don’t carve any vegetables, dress abnormally, or refer to the day by it’s pagan name.

Just in case we are seen to be participating in the day, we’ll turn off our lights and give gospel tracts to people who knock. We certainly pledge to ignore the Moon, surf at any tide, and banish pictures of Neil Armstrong (who, by the way, was instrumental in popularizing the lunar idol). And we set our Google calendars to put Sunday back where it belongs: as day one.

No need to thank me for my unsolicited legislation of your conscience. You’re welcome. I’ll keep looking for other days we can collectively ignore, for the glory of God and the sake of conscience. If I dig up any dirt on Tuesday, I’ll post it next Monday I mean, a week from today.

Clint Archer

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Clint is the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church. He and his expanding troop of Archers live near Durban, South Africa (and pity anyone who doesn't). When he is off duty from CGate, his alter ego blogs at Café Seminoid, clintarcher.com
  • Johnny

    To go back to your Halloween thoughts, my beef with the evening is less about the costumed sugar-grab but rather that pastors at so-called “Reformed” churches let their laity languish in the empty evening of the sugar-grab, instead of manning up to the responsibility of celebrating the Reformation with their flock. I don’t understand why confessional churches that cherish and celebrate the Reformation as instrumental in reclamation of the solas just IGNORE this day each year, but instead just roam the streets gathering hydrogenated oils/high-fructose corn syrup snacks with their own kids.

    Listen to the words of this layman: the people under your pastorate will be so much more blessed by you as pastor if you take the time to nix trick-or-treating and tell your flock on Oct.31st, “let’s meet at the church tonight for a dinner and then some hymns and teaching, and maybe some games for the kids, and let me teach you why it’s so important to never forget why the Reformation was important, and why it’s still important for today.”

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      Col 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, [or candy], or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath [or Reformation day]. Thanks, though.

      • Johnny

        Heb. 5:12 “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”
        Pastor’s trick-or-treating and ignoring the Reformation seems to me to reflect a spiritual immaturity (“oh, but my wife said it was ok, and she picked up some adorable costumes for the kids at Walmart…”) Shouldn’t pastor’s want more from this evening than to just tag along in Samhain’s holiday? Again, if the Reformation is that big of a deal, why do we ignore this day each year and just act like pagans?

        • Daryl Little

          Why blame the wife? Is she to blame for every evil in the family? Not hardly.

          Why not celebrate Reformation Sunday? My, but that would be the mature thing to do.

          BTW, Samhain has nothing to do with…anything.

  • http://www.melissacollins.biz/ Melissa Collins

    I truly loved this post for all you intended Clint!!! Wonderful :-) Perhaps we should pay attention to matters of the soul, rather than nit pick down to the smallest (in my opinion) unimportant details. I truly loved Halloween as a kid and saw (and still see) it for what MOST people see it – a day for kids to dress up in cute/scary/clever costumes and beg candy from their suspecting neighbors. No more, no less. But this is just my opinion…………..

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      My pleasure Melissa. Thanks for your appreciation.

  • Darby

    Nice one!

  • Patrick

    Well done.

  • Drew Sparks

    Clint,

    As always, I appreciate your writing style and wit. Despite the fact that I disagree, this post is no exception. You make some interesting points, but if you could answer a question for me I would appreciate it.

    Where would you draw the line? In other words, what type of holiday would you avoid practicing and why?

    You quote Colossians 2:16, and I understand what it is saying, but is there a point where judgment could be passed over the practice of a specific holiday (of course I think this would be a hypothetical holiday)?

    • Jarod Hinton

      Good comment Drew. I’d be interested to hear a response to that question also. The post was entertaining and thought provoking, Clint. Really. But how far would you take this? When does a special day become dangerous?

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      This is a great question. The answer is that I would draw the line the same place God does: at sin. Our Lord is very clear in His word about how we are to please Him, and what is off limits. I hate sin, and would never want to violate my Savior’s will. Gods word tell us what is sin, and secular holidays aren’t on the list. BUT idolatry is, coveting (materialism?) is, lust is. So if a holiday–whether it be Halloween, Christmas, or Valentines Day– caused me, or tempted me, to commit a sin, I wold avoid it. Conscience comes in here a lot, as does culture. I would never ever insist that a believer celebrate ANY holiday (see Col 2), not even Christmas or Reformation day. But I would not try make a rule where a Christian CAN’T celebrate a holiday…as long as they don’t sin.

      Rom 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

      Some may argue that Halloween is associated with Satanism. Well, it may depend on your neighborhood. No one in my town thinks I kill cats in my garage to Satan. Allowing my kids to wear teddy-bear costumes doesn’t taint my witness in this community. But if it did (some communities in UK for example are very engrossed in the association with druids etc.) I would abstain in order to not confuse the unbelievers I witness to.

      To summarize: I would draw the line where God does, no closer (to feel more righteous, like “I fast twice a week”) and no further (to use my liberty as a cloak for evil, or sin that grace may abound).

      • Drew Sparks

        Clint, thanks for the great response. Is there anything wrong with dressing kids up and sending them out for candy? Absolutely not! That is not a sin. However, it may violate a believer’s conscience, or cause a brother to stumble, both of these we would agree to be wrong.

        Please understand that I do not think that those who celebrate this holiday are living in sin. I understand there is liberty to practice halloween in a safe way. However, I would pose a final question to you and those who are involved with halloween: would you ever try to christianize and celebrate Ramadan? Joseph Smith’s birthday? Or Krishna Jayanti (birthday of Krishna)? If not, why not? And how is halloween different?

        This is why I don’t celebrate it. I do not see how something with Pagan origins can be redeemed without being totally transformed. I don’t think it is a sin, but I am not sure it is wise or best. However, you have challenged me to reconsider my stance as well as how I speak to others about it, for which I am grateful. Every time I read your posts I am challenged about how I think, which is why I visit c-gate every day. My thanks to Clint and Co.

        • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

          You make a really good point about Ramadan! But Christmas is a more analogous example, I think. It’s original roots are also pagan, but the Catholic church managed to successfully second it for Christ. Now it is so thoroughly a Christianized holiday, that most people have no problem with or knowledge of the pagan roots. Halloween, in some cultures, is now so removed from what it began as, that it might be possible to participate in the periphery practices like trick-or-treating, without associating with the pagan part. That’s my take. I do think it needs to be handled very carefully and in each context.

  • Brent

    Thank you for enlightening me. Christians love a good boycott, so let’s all band together and refuse to work on such a day! Who’s with me?!?!

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      Now that’s a good idea!

  • Martin

    I know you’re just trying to be funny, but… no, on second thought, I think I’ll just not say anything…

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      Oh, I love blog commenters with self-control! Thanks Martin. It’s called satire.

  • Lyn

    Thanks for this Clint, I can’t tell you how much it’s brightened up my Monday…er, scratch that… TODAY!!

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      Glad to be of service. Just passing on what Garfield the cat taught me.

  • Johnny

    So one other thought, Clint. Is someone in your flock came to you and asked if Hillcrest baptist would host a Reformation party on the 31st, would you work with that laymember and help make it a reality? Or would you rather keep the evening open so as to avoid anyone, or interrupt any trick-or-treating?

    I’d be curious if you have any members that read your posts and, perhaps, would like more from you as a pastor and want to see you spearhead something like this, and perhaps are just a little afraid to speak out. I wonder if they encouraged you, would you nix Halloween for something fat more edifying for yourself, your family and your flock?

    (hint hint Hillcrest members…)

    • Daryl Little

      Yes Clint! If you were a real pastor you’d (fill in whatever it is that I want, here.)

      Great post by the way. And great point.

      • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

        Thanks Daryl. ;)

    • Judy Parker

      Well, I wasn’t going to comment – but as the gauntlet has been thrown down to Hillcrest Baptist members, and as it is no longer Monday in my time zone ;) – I will. While Clint has thrown Reformation parties – I doubt very much that the point of the blog was to force Christians to choose between Reformation parties and Halloween parties – but rather to force us to confront our sometimes silly Christian obsessions by pointing out their absurdities.

      And – for the record – no, we are not afraid to speak out and no, we do not want any more from Clint as our pastor. His ministry, his teaching and his life are blessings to us from God which are already way more than we deserve.

      • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

        Hey, I know you! Thanks sister.

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      For the record, we did celebrate Reformation Day with a party. There was even a quiz about TULIP. But that is really not the point, is it? There are no feasts commanded of believers in the NT. So for one Christian to say “What we do is better and more edifying than what you do” is to take pride in self-righteous standards that are not biblical. Luke 18 9-14 is a parable written for people who think they are righteous for their standards, and who look down on others who don’t.

      • http://www.parkingspace23.com/ Matt Tarr

        Sort of ends the earlier assumptions a little bit doesn’t it? And I think it speaks well of Clint’s integrity (which also shows his wisdom and discernment that Johnny brought into question) that he didn’t load this defense into his discussion. That brings me to point out a verse… that I almost hate to use because it’s so often misquoted, but I think is appropriate in this context, “Judge not…” (Matt. 7:1). The issue, of course, in that verse is not that we’re NOT supposed to judge, but to check our motivation and get rid of anything in our own lives that might be pushing us to draw incorrect assumptions about someone… which seems to be what we have here. BUT, alas, it speaks well of a man who will not speak to defend his own name, but only the Truth.

        • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

          Thanks Matt. Kind words, and a good verse. It’s even in context!

  • http://suzlt.blogspot.com/ Suzanne T

    Sometimes we need reminding how silly we can really get…thanks for the humor, Clint!

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      You’re welcome, enjoy your new 6-day week!

      • http://suzlt.blogspot.com/ Suzanne T

        hehehe :)

        Probably the best holloween “decoration” I’ve ever seen is this one :)

  • 4Commencefiring4

    Could you make any remarks about Thursdays next time? You know, about how it’s the most disappointing day: I’m always saying, “Ah, Friday at last…Doh! Wait! Ahhhh….” Like when teachers used to hand our tests back and I just knew I’d done well, only to see “77″ on it or something. There had to be some mistake.

  • http://michaelcoughlin.net/ Michael Coughlin

    Spot on, brother.

  • David A

    I have a solution! Reformation inspired costumes! Win-Win!

  • Kevin Spence

    Loved the satire. Disagree with the theme. Having served the Lord in areas where Halloween is marked by occult practices, including giving children psychotic drugs to aid in “worship”, I can’t celebrate October 31st. Am pleased that others have the freedom to do so & don’t want to take away that freedom – just know there is s darker side in certain areas of the globe.

    • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

      This is a very important point, which I hope I highlighted at times. Each context is different. Thanks for pointing that out. Yoursa isnt a problem with ROOTS but with practice. That is a different matter altogether.

  • Mike

    Wow, my kids are going to love Harvey Milk day. Who would have thought dressing up in rainbows and marching down the street could be wrong! As long as there has been done period of time from the original founding of the holiday to celebrate sin, were okay right?

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